Game of Thrones first spinoff series, House of the Dragon, is finally here. But dont be prepared to see any familiar faces. The show is defined 172 years prior to the birth of Daenerys Targaryen and the events of Game of Thrones, the adaptation of George R.R. Martins fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Still, audiences are certain to get to meet a lot of Daenerys ancestors.
House of the Dragon draws from Martins companion novel to the primary series, Fire & Blood, which outlines the annals of the Targaryen family. The show begins whenever a Targaryen king, Viserys, names an urgent heir, a selection that eventually results in civil war within the powerful family. Targaryen is pitted against Targaryen. Dragon against dragon.
But to comprehend why, exactly, the Targaryens are so ready to tear each other apart for to be able to take a seat on the Iron Throneand the way the lords of Westeros react to this conflictyou need to recall some Westerosi history. Some of these lessons and legends were doled out in conversations between Game of Thrones characters because they discussed their forebears.
Heres all you need to keep in mind before watching House of the Dragon.
When does House of the Dragon happen?
Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy in House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon is defined 172 years prior to the birth of Daenerys Targaryen and tells the story of her ancestors, the dragon-riding Targaryen clan.
How did the Targaryens become so powerful?
To comprehend the way the Targaryens first took the Iron Throne, we have to rewind several century prior to the events of Game of Thrones.
Recall that the planet of Game of Thrones is split into two lands: Westeros to the West and Essos in the East. At the moment, the Valyrians will be the most effective people in Essos because they’re in a position to tame fire-breathing dragons, probably the most powerful weapon a ruler might have.
A female named Daenys Targaryen includes a terrible dream of a cataclysmic event that destroys Valryia. Her father, Aenar Targaryen, tells his fellow noblemen concerning this apocalyptic vision. Normally happens with Cassandra-like figures, the Valyrians ignore Daenys warnings.
But Aenar heeds his daughters vision, gathers up the household and their dragons, and departs Valyria. They sail over the sea to an island where they construct the castle that involves be referred to as Dragonstone. In Game of Thrones, Dragonstone guards the entrance to Blackwater Bay. Stannis Baratheon takes refuge there following the Battle of Blackwater until he heads to the Wall to greatly help with the Battle of Castle Black. Dragonstone can be Daenerys first stay in Westeros when she finally makes her way over the waters after surviving in exile in Essos.
Twelve years after Aenar moves his family, Daenys dream comes true. Volcanoes erupt; the planet earth breaks open; Valyria is destroyed; and all its dragons are killed. The function involves be referred to as the Doom of Valyria. The Targaryens, safe on Dragonstone, end up being the only Valyrians leftand the only real individuals who can control dragons. Daenys involves be referred to as Daenys the Dreamer.
How did the Targaryens dominate Westeros?
A hundred years passes. The Targaryens keep a minimal profile and focus on building their castle at Dragonstone. Then Aegon I decides he really wants to explore Westeros. He and his sister-wives (yep, really), Rhaenys and Visenya, go for a ride on the dragons and scout out all of the kingdoms. Aegon decides he really wants to unite the warring sets of Westeros and rule everything because he is able to. He builds the big table with a map of Westeros that people see Daenerys use at Dragonstone in Game of Thrones.
Therefore Aegons conquest begins. With three dragons, Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya handily defeat the houses of Westeroswith the exception of Dorneand Aegon becomes king. Aegon takes most of his enemies weapons and constructs the incredibly uncomfortable-looking Iron Throne. He places it in a fortress that becomes Kings Landing, the location where he first landed in Westeros.
Just how do we get from Aegon I to the characters on House of the Dragon?
Paddy Considine, Sian Brooke, Michael Carter, Steve Toussaint, and Eve Best in House of the Dragon
The Targaryens are big on keeping their lines pure, this means they take part in incest. Unfortunately, because of this, about 50 % the Targaryen offspring come out relatively normal, and another half come out crazy and bloodthirsty. (See: Daenerys and her lunatic brother Viserys at the start of Thronesthough arguably Daenerys goes off the deep end by the finish of the show, too.)
Aegon includes a son with all of his sister-wives. The oldest, Aenys, is nice. Younger, Maegor, isn’t so sweet: Maegor kills his half-brother and takes the Iron Throne for himself. Maegor rules for six years, is awful, and finally is discovered impaled by himself Iron Throne (ouch!). His nephew Jaehearys, son of Aenys, succeeds him.
Jaehaerys is the greatest king ever. He builds roads (like the Kings Road), a sanitation system, and infrastructurewhich is boring but important. He and his wife have 13 children, most of whom sleep with dragon eggs within their cribs. Jaeherys eldest sons, Aemon and Baelon, are both good men and would make great rulers. However they both die before Jaeherys, forcing the king to select an heir from among his grandchildren. The succession politics are complicated, nonetheless it basically boils right down to whether he chooses a granddaughter or grandson.
And, finally, were prepared to meet some House of the Dragon characters. Aemons oldest child is Princess Rhaenys (played by Eve Best in the series). Because Aemon was Jaehaerys eldest son, Rhaenys ought to be the obvious choice as heir. Unfortunately, all of the lords in Westeros are super sexist and dont just like the notion of taking orders from the queen. So rather than giving her the Iron Throne, Jaeherys holds a gathering with a lot of the lords called the fantastic Council of 101 AC. They decide that Baelons son Jaeherys (Paddy Considine) should inherit the Iron Throne instead.
Princess Rhaenys marries Lord Corlys Valaryon (Steve Toussaint), a robust shipmaster who goes on the name the ocean Snake. He comes from a family group thats also Valyrian but left Valyria a long time before the Targaryens for trade purposes. Crucially, the Valaryons cant ride dragons, however they have grown to be key allies of the Targaryens since Aegons conquest.
Usually are not will be the players in House of the Dragon?
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Decades pass, and Viserys actually is a fairly good king. However when it comes time for him to mention an heir, all hell breaks loose. Eventually a civil war breaks out that involves be referred to as the Dance of Dragons.
Milly Alcock and Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon
Viserys decides that his daughter from his first marriage, Rhaenyra, should inherit the throne. (A version of Rhaenyra is played by Milly Alcock in the show, the older version by Emma DArcy.) This declaration doesnt review well with these misogynist lords of Westeros who indicate Jaeherys passing over Rhaenys as a precedent for male succession. Hawaii of succession law in Westeros is fuzzy with this point, and the problem becomes contentious. Still, Rhaenyra matures looking to inherit the throne.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Meanwhile, Viserys brother Daemon (Matt Smith), an excellent warrior, wants the Iron Throne for himself. He’ll ally himself with whoever he is able to for power.
Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon in House of the Dragon
Rhaenys involves be referred to as The Queen Who Never Was by enough time House of the Dragon begins. She may or might not still have a chip on her behalf shoulder about being passed over for the throneand advice to dole out to some other potential female heir.
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon in House of the Dragon
Rhaeyns marries Lord Corlys Valaryon, who’s referred to as Sea Snake, and left Valyria sooner than the Targaryens. Hes a shipmaster, and cant ride dragons. He sticks near to the Targaryens since Aegons conquest.
Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon
The Hightowers certainly are a wealthy house whose seat of power is in Old Town, and at the start of the series Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) may be the Hand of the King. (This is actually the same position that Ned Stark had for King Robert Baratheon at the start of Game of Thrones).
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in Game of Thrones
His daughter Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke, in both different timelines) becomes Viserys second wife. When she bears him children, the type of succession becomes more difficult.
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